Message from the Principal
A belated Happy New Year to all of you! We have begun the last half of the school year with the start of 3rd quarter. Time is flying by, and we will be at the end of the year soon. To ensure you are not surprised by your student’s grades, I strongly suggest that you check Campus Portal with your child so they have a clear understanding of your academic expectations for them this year. If you have any questions or concerns regarding an assignment or a grade, I encourage you to contact your child’s teacher.
A great way to communicate with your child’s teacher is at parent/teacher conferences. VandenBerge has spring conferences on Thursday, March 1 and Tuesday, March 6 from 4:00 to 7:00. Information about scheduling a conference time will be sent out soon. We look forward to seeing you there.
Throughout this school year, we have been utilizing our ZAP (Zeros Aren’t Permitted) program over the lunch hour to help students stay current on their assignments and SOAR (Student Oriented Academic Response) during RALLY time to remediate or enrich students’ opportunities in the classroom. We want to reach all of our students to help them succeed at school. We hope that students take advantage of these opportunities.
Here’s to another great month at VMS with your children. Each one of our students has many talents and knowledge to share; they are a true blessing. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to work alongside you in their educational process. Please stop by to say hello at conferences. I look forward to seeing you in March!
Teacher of the Year Nomination
Congratulations to our very own Derek Wold, 6th grade Science teacher at VMS. He has been nominated for the 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year! The 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be chosen from a field of 167 candidates – including six teachers nominated from ISD 728.
Click here to read more.
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) Testing Dates
Minnesota comprehensive Assessments (MCA) will take place for all students in grades 6, 7, and 8 on the following dates:
Grades 6 & 7 - April 10 - 13
Grade 8 - April 17 - 20
Grades 6 & 7 - April 23 - 26
Grade 8 - April 26 - May 1
Grade 8 - May 7 - 10
Click here to utilize MCA Practice Tests.
January Students of the Week
Lydia Burggraff, Ethan Delisi, Maya Eatherton, Collin Furlong, Emma Hanson, Gavin Hilyar, Liberty Huber, Benson Kozitka, Caroline Nelson, Aaliyah Mosher, Alexandra Silvola, Emma Sutton, Andrew Voss, Keaton Westgaard, Tanner Zierden
Students have been very busy working on a variety of projects.
6th grade has worked on everything from learning how to use 2-point perspective and spatial drawing, to a project in clay, to watercolors. They also worked on a unit in cartooning to wrap-up the quarter.
7th grade worked on realistic drawings using the grid method. They have worked with projects in sculpture, clay, and watercolors as well.
8th grade worked with clay tiles, optical art, expressive painting, and the art of beautiful writing. They have been hard at work, adding expressive elements to their art all quarter.
Our AVID program is continuing to grow here at VMS. We have been excited to welcome our 6th grade group and see the progress they have made over the last month with their organization and study skills. We are at the beginning stages of recruiting for additional AVID students for next year. Our AVID students have enjoyed taking field trips to surrounding colleges to gain a better understanding of college readiness. If your child is interested in joining the AVID program, please have them contact Sarah Weinhold (AVID Building Coordinator) or Dave Crocker (School Counselor) for more information.
6th grade has been doing lots of reading. Some students have already finished their 25 book Reading Challenge! We have been working on Figurative Language-Poetry and students have been doing well in this! In February, students will begin a research paper. They have seven topics to choose from and will work with partners. Research will take place in the non-fiction section of the Media Center and on their Chromebooks. Remind your students to keep reading outside of class! Book Donations for the class library are always welcome and appreciated.
7th grade needs to keep on reading! Please make sure that your student has a novel and is spending time at home reading. We are asking students to read at least five novels so they can complete five reader's responses by March 26th for their 3rd quarter summative grade. All reader's response choices, directions, and novel guidelines are in their Schoology folder. Please email Mrs. Boche or Ms. Schultz if you have questions.
8th grade is working on their formal presentation about a college of their choice. This follows the Career Day we had on January 5th. Students have been busy researching, preparing, and creating their presentations. Next we will be moving into our Informational Text unit and working with non-fiction. Please check your child's Schoology pages and Campus Portal for classroom and grade updates.
The VMS math teachers would like to take this opportunity to give you all a couple of reminders so that every student has the chance to succeed in math this year!
First, it is important that all students come to class prepared, which includes having a scientific calculator, loose leaf paper, and writing supplies (pencil, pen, and highlighter for note taking).
Second, it is important that everyone remembers to keep up on his/her homework and make sure it is in FOCUS each day! Each practice assignment is worth FOCUS points (Follows directions, On time, Complete, Unmistakably accurate, and Show work). Students will not be permitted to take any quiz/test with the rest of the class if he/she is not all caught up on homework. Just as a sports coach wouldn't put his/her team out on the field to play on game day without practicing, we won't be assessing students on their math skills if they haven't practiced, either.
Homework help is offered EVERY DAY from a math teacher from 7:45 - 8:10. All students are welcome to come get help with IXL, study island and daily homework. Here is the math help schedule:
Mon: Mrs. Tuholsky RM 131
Tues: Mrs. Olsen RM 141
Wed: Mrs. Beyer RM 111
Thurs: Mrs. Boyer RM 143
Fri: Mrs. Burken RM 217
6th grade is currently working on changes of energy. Ms. Weidenbach and Mr. Wold are excited to see all the atom projects that students have been working on.
7th grade is currently exploring the microscopic world of bacteria and viruses. We are making connections with what the CDC is currently researching on our current cold and flu epidemic.
8th grade is digging into our Geological world. We are relating tectonic plates to what we see on topographic maps. We are linking it to recent earthquakes that have been making the news lately.
The Social Studies department would like to remind you to make sure your students have headphones or earbuds with them daily at school. We frequently use the Chromebooks for independent and group activities (not just in Social Studies) that require students to listen to a variety of audio topics. Earbuds are available for purchase in our Media Center for $2.00. Thank you for your help.
6th grade has been studying the three branches of government at the Federal, State and Local levels. We have been learning about the steps a bill goes through to becoming a law. Students read about a proposed bill and identified the steps the bill took on its journey to becoming a law. They created posters and presented them to their classmates.
7th grade has moved from the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War into the rise of modern America. Students are investigating major figures like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, and they will soon be learning about the different reform movements that attempted to secure rights for women, minorities, and factory workers.
8th grade has just completed an overview of Europe as well as a brief study of the European Union. Our next area of study is Europe's declining population, which will include a study of population pyramids. Students will complete their study of Europe exploring Russia.
The 2nd quarter flew by in World Language!
Grade 7 learned basic information in Spanish, French, and German and even got to learn a little bit about the Ojibwe culture. At the end of the quarter, the 7th graders took an imaginary trip to a country of their choosing and documented everything they did each week. They created some pretty amazing trips!
Grade 8 dove a little bit deeper into each language, learning how to describe what someone is wearing in French, describing people's personalities/physical characteristics in German, and ordering food at a restaurant in Spanish. They did great! It was cool to see them grow in each language and start deciding what language they want to pursue in high school.
We are adding new resources to engage and inspire the student mind in a new area of the Media Center we call The Maker Space. The first three resources we added were Keva Planks, Breakout EDU and Edison Robots. Students might work with these resources before school, during study hall or during a class period. We look forward to hosting monthly challenges in the Maker Space to keep students and staff on their toes.
Keva Planks are simple planks with many uses. Your only limit is your own mindset! Check out some of the challenges students have completed.
BreakOut boxes can be used in any content area. With the clock ticking, teams must work together using Communication, Collaboration, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Decision Making skills in order to solve clues to open the locks on the boxes. The locks might have solutions that are numbers, letters, colors, directional arrows or shapes. Below are some of our successful teams in action.
The first round of students has begun working through our Edison Robot certification process. Edison Robots are programmable using the EdWare and EdPy programming languages. Students who complete all 10 lessons will be certified Edison Programmers.
VandenBerge Math League
VandenBerge's Math League wrapped up the season with their 5th and final meet.
The VandenBerge Red team, consisting of Lindsey Redepenning, Jordan Bauer, Harper Westgaard, Peyton Maier, Ethan Andresen, and John Palmer scored 70 points and finished tied with Salk for 3rd place. Monticello and Buffalo finished in the top two spots.
The VandenBerge White team, consisting of Tucker Brady, Lilly Perron, Clara and Emma Anderson, Josephine Schmidt, and Addison Brandt scored 56 points. They outscored Rogers and every other team's 2nd team.
Individual high scorers at the last meet were Lindsey Redepenning and Tucker Brady, who tied for the 5th highest score (16 points) and Harper Westgaard, who tied for the 9th highest score (12 points).
Sixth graders Allie Sivola and Josephine Schmidt each scored 8 points. These were outstanding scores for 6th grade students.
There were 105 competitors at the final meet.
Overall Final Results
The VandenBerge Red team won first place overall for the third year in a row. Top individuals were Lindsey Redepenning (3rd), Jordan Bauer (4th), Peyton Maier and Harper Westgaard (tied for 7th), Tucker Brady (13th), and John Palmer and Ethan Andresen (tied for 22nd). Emma Anderson was the 3rd highest scoring 6th grader in our division.
JUST A REMINDER
Students are not allowed to enter the building before 7:45 unless they have a scheduled activity with a staff member, and students remaining in the building after 3:15 must be under the direct supervision of a staff member. With cooler temperatures approaching, please take this into consideration when dropping off and picking up your student.
VMS LOST AND FOUND
VandenBerge's Lost and Found is bursting at the seams! Items will be packed up and delivered to a local charity after February 7th. Please stop in or have your student take a look to see if they have any missing items by February 7th.
ASSISTANCE WITH GROCERIES
There are resources available for VandenBerge families who are struggling to make ends meet. One of these resources is a program that is coordinated by the Elk River Women of Today, who deliver products such as bread, muffins, cookies, etc. to VandenBerge each week. The products are collected from Coborn's, Cub Foods and Perkins Restaurant. The food is then distributed to student lockers or you can make arrangements with the School Social Worker to pick up a bag in the main office. If you are interested in receiving a bag on a weekly basis, please contact Krista Brannan at 763-241-3450 extension 2687.